A Small Show of Magic | Teen Ink

A Small Show of Magic

August 1, 2015
By Wikialex BRONZE, Dublin, California
Wikialex BRONZE, Dublin, California
3 articles 0 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
Alis Volat Propriis

I flick my hand lazily at the magician’s turned back and the plates go flying off the table, shattering when it hits the wall above his head. Marvin the Magnificence yelps and curls into a ball to protect himself from the shattered porcelain. His black, white and obviously plastic wand goes flying off the stage. The crowd howls in laughter and I permit myself a small smile before the magician pulls himself back to his feet.

The man has poise, I’ll give him that; it’s obvious from the way he flawlessly joins in the crowd’s laughter and bows with all the little flourishes of a performer. The doves flying out of his coat-tails are little too much, but at least they didn’t s*** on his head like the one I saw last week.

Marvin strides across the stage, retrieving his wand from a rare kind soul that runs, giggling up to the stage. He thanks her was a bouquet of squirting roses and sends her back to her classmates with a little explosion of glitter on her hair. The magician continues back towards me, wiping a trickle of blood off the side of his head; probably caused by a shattering plate, if I had to venture a guess.

Putting my most convincing “I’m-Totally-innocent” face, I whisper wide eyed, “Wow!  That was such a cool trick.”

Marvin the Magnificent glares when he turns away from the audience. “This isn’t over kid.”

I roll my eyes when he turns back to his table stuffed with “magician’s goodies”; like I haven’t heard that before.

“Leeks and germs,” Marvin booms out to crowd and the two fourth grade classes burst into snickers. “oh, oh, I mean ladies and gentlemen, it is time for one last trick.” The little buggers listen spellbound, wide-eyed. “ Now, I was going to juggle some flaming swords---”


“---why not?--”

“buut we seemed to have run out of time for that today.”

That and he doesn’t trust me to be anywhere near him when he’s holding flaming swords; I can’t blame him since exploding pies and floating plates have already proven themselves deadly in my hands.

A wave of  mutinous whispers have built up in audience, but Marvin the Magician dispels them with a sweep of his hand. “Instead, if our ah, volunteer, is willing, we’re going to stick a couple swords through him!” He turns to me, smiling venomously, “If that’s okay with you, Sir Brian.”

“I’d prefer Sir Brian the Great,” the kids in my little sister’s class laugh again, “but yes, please stick some swords through me.”

Mr. Magician takes my arm and leads me over to a vividly painted red and blue box, about the size of a six-foot man’s coffin. So far, so good.

He opens the door and ushers me inside. I know that Marvin the Magnificent is just trying to intimidate me, but it doesn’t work; my dad has these in his magic shop, and it’s just an illusion, like the rest of this fraud’s tricks.

The key to not being skewered in this trick is to make sure you are so far back that the swords can’t touch you. These boxes are always larger than they  appear since, as in most cases, the audience only sees what it wants to believe.

Once inside the box, it takes me about two seconds to realize that something’s wrong. The box is too small; I have no room to back away from the swords. A even more worrying thought occurs to me: why did Marvin the Magnificent pick me as a volunteer? He must know that the box is too small. A horrifying thought sends cold sweat down my back. What if Marvin the Fake Magician was expecting me? What if he know what I truly am?

I try to leave the box, but of course, it’s locked and I’m trapped. Outside, I can hear Marvin talking to the crowd and their excitement is almost palpable. Even my little sister, confident as I am in my abilities, would be filled more with anticipation than fear. Oh God, that would suck, to watch your older brother be murdered by a fake magician while you stood by helpless. Especially with the added irony of me being able to do actual magic.

I slam myself against the door of the box, trying to break it down. The whole thing, made of solid wood, barely budges an inch. I’m trapped.

The tips of the swords bite into my back as Marvin the Magnificent starts his trick aimed to turn me into a shishkabob. I try to think of how I can magic myself out of this situation, but I quickly give it up; I’ve never been much good at the disappearing spells. I hold my breath, preparing to die at a fourth-grade magic show when I’m thrown into darkness by an outside force.

I open my eyes, standing across from the stage, at the top of the descending rows of seats. The little kids gasp in amazement when they realize where I am, but Marvin looks like he drank a pint of lemon juice.

A small, dark haired figure darts out of one of the rows of seats. My sister runs towards me, ignoring her teacher’s orders to sit down. We sprint outside of the theater and in the dark of the hallway, she makes both of us disappear again.

The author's comments:

This short story was inspired by a prompt from my writing club. What would happen if the volunteer a magician called onstage during a show could actually do magic?


Food for thought!

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